Canada will ban most forms of single-use plastic from customer-facing businesses, in phased restrictions that will begin this year.
The move will affect single-use plastic bags, takeout containers, straws, stir sticks and cutlery. Single-use plastic will still be acceptable for industrially packaged foods and beverages, with the exception of ring carriers for beverage cans.
The regulations will bar Canadian companies from importing or making these items after the end of this year, from selling them by the end of 2023, and from exporting them by the end of 2025. They were promulgated by the Ministries of Health and Environment.
According to a Deloitte study cited by the CBC, less than one-tenth of Canada’s plastic waste is recycled. Canada now joins the European Union, the United Kingdom, Chile and other nations in adopting some form of a ban on single-use plastic.
“We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. Today, that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault said in a statement.
However, a spokesperson for Greenpeace Canada called it “a drop in the bucket” and said, “Until the government gets serious about overall reductions of plastic production, we're not going to see the impact we need to see in the environment or in our waste streams."